Sunday, 13 August 2017

Lambchop - Leeds Brudenell Social Club, August 8th 2017 (live review)


Kurt Wagner’s strangely alluring and constantly changing collective Lambchop have been around for quite a while, shifting from a sound clearly defined by their Nashville origins yet always pushing against the envelope, absorbing new age, soul and jazz influences along the way...

Tonight’s Brudenell date sees them return to a venue they enjoy playing, also the opening date of their latest fortnight long UK tour, this time taking to the stage in stripped back form, with just Kurt (vocals, guitar, vocoder, gadgets) Matt Swanson (Bass) and Tony Crow (piano).

With recent release ‘FLOTUS’, the band’s first new material for quite some time still fresh in everyone’s minds, tonight’s set list draws heavily from the album whose acronym stands for For Love Often Turns Us Still (as opposed to First Lady of the United States). We’re treated to ‘Writer’ ‘Old Masters’, ‘The Hustle’ and ‘JFK’ although tonight’s highlight comes at the start of the encore in the form of the lyrically ultra-dense opening ‘FLOTUS’ track ‘In Care of 8675309’, a touching 11-minute long lament for a soon to be gone spouse, tonight requested by an audience member in dedication to her daughter, newly engaged and also in attendance with her husband to be… talk about playing to your crowd.

Predictably the Leeds 6 venue’s intimacy once more proves the perfect setting for Kurt’s sardonic midweek melancholy; electronically enhanced crooning and understated guitar complemented by Matt’s elegant bass lines, with Tony’s fragile piano expertly deploying sprinkles of fairy dust around the edges, their assured yet heartfelt performance, guaranteeing everyone heads home with a spring in their step.

Words - Mike Price